Day At The Track

Showdown in final Fraser feature

07:30 PM 17 Apr 2021 NZST
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Kelly Hoerdt, harness racing
Feature winning driver Kelly Hoerdt
Kneedeep N Custard went last-to-first in the hotly-contested last Open event of the Fraser Downs spring harness racing meet on Apr. 17, coming within two fifths of a track record.
Kelly Hoerdt pulled the five-year-old back to the trailing spot in the five-horse field early as odds-on favourite Tiempo Hanover (Brandon Campbell) took the lead. Armycaptin Hanover (Scott Knight) pressured the leader through a :27 opening split from the first-over spot and remained parked through the half in a blazing :54.
Tiempo Hanover continued to lead, and Armycaptain Hanover maintained the first-up bid to three-quarters in 1:21.2 as Kneedeep N Custard wound up from the backfield. He made up ground quickly and went three-wide around Armycaptin Hanover as they turned for home. Kneedeep N Custard then outsprinted the tired leaders to win going away by a length and a quarter in a lifetime-best 1:50.4.
Tiempo Hanover and Armycaptin Hanover held on for second and third, respectively. The winner paid $10.30.
Kneedeep N Custard, a Custard The Dragon gelding, improved his record to 22-for-39 and surpassed a quarter million dollars in earnings with the win. Hoerdt trains and co-owns with Blair Corbeil of Beaumont and Fred Gilbert of Brandon. The horse's previous mark was 1:51.2 in his Western Canada Pacing Derby Final victory in 2019. This mile was two tenths off the track record for aged pacing geldings.
The battle for the drivers' title for the meet between Hoerdt and Campbell ended in stalemate, as both drivers landed on 32 wins. The former clutched the draw with a win in the ninth with Overactive (1:55.4) from post seven. Scott Knight won the battle for third with two wins on the night to bring his total to nine.
Fraser Downs' next scheduled dates are in September. The track ended its spring season early due to Covid-19.
"We have no choice - we've literally run out of money to operate at the track," said Nigel Holmes, the executive director of Harness Racing BC (HRBC) in a press release. "It means our regular spring racing meet will end early, and prospects are not good for our regular fall meet, unless we are able to negotiate some form of short term COVID financial support from the BC government."
Holmes also said that HRBC is committed to finding a way to survive the year. HRBC announced on Mar. 31 that the government of British Columbia was unable to offer funds to keep racing going. The status of Fraser's fall meet is currently uncertain.
For full race results, click here.
by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink
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